Monthly Archives: December 2012

Farewell Too Soon

Canterbury Cathedral, panel from window, detai...

Canterbury Cathedral, panel from window, detail St Thomas a Becket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cinda Cyrus left us way too soon.
And I didn’t  help by fumbling the date of her departure. For some reason, December 17 was solidly burned into my brain as the day she passed on. But, according to her obituary (below), she died on December 19.
So forgive me, Cinda and friends, for my error. Cinda would no doubt say it was sloppy journalism and fact reporting and would probably shake her finger at me. Then she would laugh and say I cheated her out of a couple of days and I owed her some blueberry pancakes.
So, I’m sending a thought of  blueberry griddle cakes from Maxine’s in Bastrop, where we often went for Sunday morning breakfast.
Cinda had a number of causes she cared about. They are listed in the bottom portion of the obituary.
I hope she’s up there with a lot of beloved dogs from our childhood. Say hello to Rex for me, Cinda, and give him a hug. He’s the great big black German Shepherd who likes kids.
Cinda obitCinda Cyrus Obituary or Death Notice: Cinda Cyrus’s Obituary by the Austin American-Statesman. 12/30/11 5:20 PM

Cinda Lynne Cyrus 1946-2011 Cinda Cyrus, 65, of Bastrop, died on December 19, 2011. Cinda was born on December 5, 1946, in Fort Worth, Texas, the second child of Ralph Lynn Cyrus and Elizabeth Marion Briscoe Cyrus. She grew up in Fort Worth and Midland. Cinda loved people from the start and embraced family outings, get-togethers, and reunions. She soon became an avid reader and had a stable Ml of stick horses, the beginning of lifelong love affairs with literature, imagination, and animals. Cinda moved with her family to Midland, where she graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1964. While still a student, she began her lifelong practice of volunteering, first as a candy striper at Midland Hospital, then as a mentor and volunteer with the Episcopal Church. Cinda personified the saying, ‘If you want to have friends, you have to be a friend.’ Her grace, charm, and genuine interest led to a wide and devoted circle of friendships, from those dating back for decades to those made in the last days of her life. In 1971, she earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Texas, then began a career as a technical writer and editor, first in the advertising department at Dillard’s Department Store. She proved to be a quick and insightful study and found she had a strong affinity for leading teams. She maintained her warm disposition, sassy outlook, and droll sense of humor in even the most stressful times. Cinda worked for a number of organizations in Austin, including the University of Texas, the Texas Department of Human Services, the office of Senator Judith Zaffirini, the Petroleum Extension Service, Lockheed, BMC Software, and Just In Time Resources International. She retired from PSW/Concero in 2OO1. A favorite quotation of Cinda’s was by Winston Churchill: ‘Never give in-never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.’ It is not surprising that this sentiment resonated with Cinda, for she did everything with optimism and commitment. She had a passion for current events and history and was famous for her sense of justice and forthright views. Cinda was an avid genealogist who corresponded with people all over the world about family history. For many years she made annual birthday trips with her friends to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to do research. Cinda loved literature and the written word. From 1979 to 2OO1, she volunteered in the recording studio for the Talking Book program at the Texas State Library to bring books to people with visual disabilities, acting as narrator for 33 books. From 2OO2 to 2O1O, she volunteered as a technical editor and transcriptionist with the Texas State Archives, decoding and transcribing historic manuscripts for the online exhibits pro Cinda was forever mentoring her co-workers and the children of her neighbors. Her encouragement, kindness, and wit will be remembered forever by the many people she loved and who loved her so deeply. A person of integrity and faith, Cinda faced her ups and downs as a person who never saw life as either too big or too small; it simply was. She took the opportunity to live everyday with a steadfast, joyful, and generous spirit. Cinda leaves behind a large and loving family: brothers, James Cyrus of Austin and William Cyrus and wife Barbara Cyrus of Georgetown; sister, Nancy Parmeter and husband Bill Parmeter of Austin; nieces, Amy Parmeter Little and husband David Little of Dripping Springs, Rebecca Cyrus Chapa and husband Josh Chapa of Houston, and Whitney Cyrus of Georgetown; and nephews, Chris Parmeter and wife Lorie Parmeter of Houston and Tyler Cyrus of Georgetown. The family wishes to extend special thanks to Leslie Leach, Freida and Bobby Mundine, Barbara Keir and Bob Conkright, Liz and Mary Clare, and all doctors, nurses, and technicians at Saint David’s North Austin Medical Center and at the Austin Hospice Christopher House. A memorial service will be held at 1O:OO a.m. on Thursday, December 29, at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 209 West 27th Street in Austin, with the Reverend James Stockton officiating. Cinda had close ties to the All Saints Convent in Catonsville, Maryland, where her ashes will be laid to rest. Memorial contributions can be made to the All Saints Sisters of the Poor at P. O. Box 3127, Catonsville, Maryland, 21228; or to Cinda’s other favorite charities: Doctors Without Borders, the Talking Book program at the Texas State Library, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Save the Elephants.

Elephants in Pinnawala

German Shepherd

German Shepherd (Photo credit: kate e. did)

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To Cinda

Cinda and Priya Ellisor

Cinda Cyrus left us on December 17, 2011.

It has been a year now, and she is very much missed.

But I find it hard to believe she’s really gone. Whenever I see a totally outrageous article (and there are so many these days) about politics, I want to e-mail it to her. Cinda was a great e-mailer herself.  She kept all her friends informed about the latest political shenanigans.  We need Cinda’s insight, intelligence, humor and compassion as we deal with all these crazy things that are going on.

Cinda loved books, writing, dogs, and helping people. She always shared her causes with her friends. She had strong opinions and a good heart.

She had faith. I know it sustained her.

She edited her friends’ writing and gave them encouragement and support.

Cinda had a way of getting people to give their best to whatever they were doing. Something along the lines of  “I know you can do this.”

I’m so sorry she wasn’t here for the 2012 election. Or maybe she was and I just couldn’t see her. I don’t know about the ways of heaven and earth. I just know I miss my friend.

Here’s a couple of paragaphs from an e-mail letter I received from her awhile back concerning bigotry. It is very Cinda.

“Proselytizing.  No one has a very good record in this category.  Not the Muslims.  Not the Christians.  Not the Hindus.  Not the officially declared atheists.  Not even the Buddhists are blemish free.  Once fanaticism takes over, God weeps, I am convinced.  And fanaticism is not limited to religion.  In fact I think that today xenophobia frequently travels under the false flag of religion.  Ditto homophobia.  Ditto sexism.  All of which, I am quite sure, makes God very cranky.

Let me assure you that I do not turn a blind eye to those who threaten this country.  But I see a sizable threat WITHIN this country from those who would mangle American  principles through xenophobia or any other form of hate.  We must not save the village by burning it down.”

Cardinal braving the snow

Cardinal braving the snow (Photo credit: alex ranaldi)

Fly on, my friend.

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I have been absent

240/365 National Novel Writing Month begins

240/365 National Novel Writing Month begins (Photo credit: the girl who owns the world)

from this blog during November because of my participation in National Novel Writing Month. But you say, it’s December 15!

Yes, true, but I’ve been working on my NaNo draft,  you see, plus there’s Christmas and other things in the works.

I’m excited about my story for NaNoWriMo. It’s a children’s fantasy novel with a strong female protagonist.

So I’ve received the winner’s tee-shirt, got the bookmark signed by Lindsey Grant and am contemplating signing on for some other discounted goodies for Nano completers.

If you haven’t tried it, there’s always next November, 2013. It’s a quick way to slam down 50,000 plus words in 30 days.

Rock on, writers.

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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